Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hannie Rising Excerpt 4


            “This part is difficult for me,” said Peter, scratching the side of his neck and shifting his weight from one foot to the other, the calling card of a man in discomfort. “No matter how often I do this, it doesn’t get easier. You’re right about one thing. There’s no point in mincing words.” He drew a deep breath and released it. “You’re dead, Mickey Enright, and if you’re to end up in a place that’s satisfactory to you and to me, there’s work to be done. I’ll help you, of course, but most of the labor must be yours.”
            Mickey laughed. This Peter, whoever he was, had swallowed one too many. “Listen lad. I know what ails you. I’ve been there more times than I care to remember. Why don’t you sleep it off and we can talk later.”
            “Dying.” Peter paused. “Such a harsh word, dying. I don’t like the sound of it. I suppose we could use passed away although that isn’t really accurate either. We don’t actually pass away. There’s no away about it. Rather, we move on. Passed on is a better phrase, although it could mean a number of things besides leaving one life to start a new one.” He looked at Mickey. “That’s all there is to it. It’s your time to leave your life as you know it and begin again.”
            Mickey’s head was in a muddle. The man was nattering on about passing and dying and starting again. It was outrageous, of course, but there was a small bit Mickey couldn’t get out of his head, the part about the nurses he knew and the doctor who lived on his side of town. It was very close to the scene he’d witnessed, too close to be mere coincidence. He decided to test the messenger. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
             Peter looked affronted. “Bearing false witness isn’t possible for me.”
 “You’ve made a mistake with me,” Mickey repeated. “It isn’t my time at all.”
            “My good man,” Peter protested. “Mistakes aren’t made here.”
            “Mistakes are made everywhere,” countered Mickey. “You sound like an Englishman. Are you English?”
            “Certainly not.  England didn’t exist when I came into my position. I’m an original follower, an apostle, and we don’t make mistakes.”
            “I’d like to speak to a higher authority.”
            Peter stared at him. “I can’t remember orienting anyone quite like you before. There is only one Higher Authority and if you’d done more speaking with Him when you were alive, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
            “Am I prohibited from seeing Him?”
            “You haven’t reached the place where you are able to see Him, although that will come. You may speak with Him, however. Anyone may speak with Him, although the answers you receive may not be the ones you hope for.”
            Mickey folded his arms against his chest. “I want to see Him.”
            Peter glared disapprovingly. “You Irish have been falsely credited. You are an impatient and rude people.”
“You heard me. You have your tea breaks, your pastries and custards and your lovely way of turning a phrase. You’ve a reputation for politeness. But underneath it all, there’s your wit which can be cruel, your vague and twisting replies to direct questions, your unending, merciless, destructive penchant for ugly gossip and, of course, your superior, unquestioning belief that you are the chosen race. You are an arrogant population as well. You have a lovely country, but loveliness isn’t unique. You forget the grandeur of the Rockies, the chiseled beauty of the Grand Canyon, the blue glaciers of Alaska. Your tiny scrap of patchwork green, forever surrounded by clouds and inundated by constant, miserable, bone-chilling rain is not what God intended as His model for heaven.”

Monday, September 2, 2013

California is more than Hollywood

California is more than movie stars, Beverly Hills and Disneyland. California is also vineyards and horses and lavender fields....

The California novels are now available on all ebook sites.